Apr 14 2011
I was speaking at Michigan State University Medical School-Grand Rapids Campus. After the presentation, which included our new drflowersmcat.com system. a student came up to me and made the comment, “What took you so long?” Initially, I wasn’t sure how to take it, other than as some type of compliment (wishful thinking). After some thought, this is how I am interpreting that statement.
It wasn’t just about us. It was about all the MCAT prep online programs and maybe even the classroom programs. What I had demonstrated was the ability of our system to replace the positive classroom features desired by students. When we completed our second online version in 2006, there were a lot of concerns expressed by students that they still were unsure if they wanted to do an online MCAT prep because of the “loss” of discipline which occurred with a classroom class that was not present with the online programs available at that time. To mis-paraphrase Groucho Marx “Why they were concerned, I never knew?” I.e., why a student who wanted to be a doctor had concerns about generating their own discipline eluded and still eludes me. See my prior blog entry: http://drflowersmcat.com/blog/C14/ .Anyway, it was a great concern for a number of students.
One our many concerns, then, as we created our new system, was to keep students on track, motivated and, yes, even disciplined. All of this was built into our new system. To explain simply, we have a day by day structured study plan. The system forces the student to complete the sequenced learning of that study plan. If they skip a task, that task is placed into a pending file. The student cannot progress until they complete that task. So, unlike a classroom prep, where you can miss a class, and then come to the next class, our system forces you to complete the task you missed. Additionally, there are frequent quizzes and tests. Unlike a classroom (where you can take a test, and do poorly on it and not understand the underlying content, and then just move to the next content area without even mastering the last…is this a type of “social promotion”?...), the student must get a minimum score on that test before he/she can move on.
Apparently, this is what the student was so excited about among many other equally exciting new features. Our online program offers a very structured, motivational and disciplined MCAT prep. If you want to experience it, go to http://drflowersmcat.com/ and sign up for the free 3 day full access to the system.
Jun 07 2010
I recently came across a page at studentdoc that reveals research on the predictive success of popular MCAT practice tests from AAMC, Kaplan and The Princeton Review by comparing the results of these practice MCAT tests with students’ actual results on the real MCAT. The conclusion is that the best predictor or performance on the actual MCAT are the AAMC’s own practice tests. The AAMC practice tests were the best indicator when considering the composite score and considering individual score (biology, physics, verbal).
This research aligns with Dr. Flowers’ conclusion that he told me upon meeting him in 2005. He told me the best way to prepare for the MCAT is by using the AAMC practice tests as the benchmark for assessing your strengths and weaknesses, and then studying according to your MCAT weaknesses. Two years ago on this blog, Dr. Flowers responded to the sentiment that the AAMC is tries to trick students by writing "when there is appropriate preparation of content and skills using real MCAT’s, the specter of ‘trick questions’ will magically disappear. "
The AAMC’s practice tests are available at www.e-mcat.com. Additionally they can be purchased at discounts through a Dr. Flowers MCAT subscription. One AAMC practice test, 3R, is available for free from AAMC.